SALEM, Ore. — A three-year review by the Oregon agency that oversees law enforcement certification found that 67 officers have been officially censured since this time in 2017.
The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) published the report on Tuesday after reviewing its discretionary misconduct records since August 1, 2017.
"DPSST training helps public safety providers protect their communities," the agency said. "Upholding professional standards ensures the integrity of Oregon's criminal justice system by ensuring that officers meet and maintain all established training, physical, emotional, intellectual and moral fitness standards for all public safety disciplines."
During that three-year period, DPSST said that 180 police officers or recruits came under the scrutiny of the agency's 24-member Board, resulting in a review of their law enforcement certifications. 23 of those officers came from the Portland Police Bureau.
"The board and committees are integrally involved in setting the agency's Oregon Administrative Rules, which legally guide the implementation of our statutory obligations; the board and committees also provide input into, and make decisions regarding training standards and certification requirements; they review individual certification cases; and, they help set the agency's high-level goals for the future," DPSST said.
Ultimately, the Board took final action against 67 officers. Five had their certifications suspended, and 62 were either revoked or denied — eight of the latter from the Portland Police Bureau, DPSST said.
An officer with a suspended certification "cannot work in that discipline," according to Oregon's regulations, but can get pursue getting re-certified by meeting the necessary requirements. A revocation is permanent, and officers are not allowed to apply again.
DPSST also gave some insights into the types of behavior and demographics for those 67 disciplinary actions:
- 4 involved female police officers;
- 30 were for off-duty conduct;
- 15 officers held Supervisory or above certifications
- 51 had over 10 years experience as a police officer;
- 19 over 25 years experience as a police officer
- 12 involved alcohol or drug use;
- 17 involved sexual conduct;
- 4 involved domestic violence; and
- 23 involved an element of dishonesty.
Oregon law enforcement officers who are decertified by DPSST are also entered into a national registry of certificate of license revocation actions related to officer misconduct, as reported by participating state government agencies.
That registry currently contains 28,555 actions reported by 45 certifying agencies, DPSST said — as not all states issue certification to officers, and not all states have the power to revoke or suspend police officer certifications. Oregon does both.
Oregon currently has more than 5,500 full-time law enforcement officers certified through DPSST, working for city, county, state, tribal, university, railroad police agencies.